Sometimes genius comes with experience. Other times, it shoots right out of the gate. She may only be 16 years old, but Sophie Gray has a pretty good handle on things; her identity, her sound and how to write a damn song.
Still residing in her native Denver, Colorado, Gray fits easily inside the circle where artists like Lorde and Billie Eilish reside. Though she may not quite be at their level of fame, as evidenced by her latest release “Better With You,” when it comes to talent Gray stands shoulder to shoulder with her young peers.
Built on dreamy synth pulses as hushed vocals usher it in then turn it on its side, “Better With You” is Gray’s feel good song that quite honestly, is the kind of direction we need to kick off this new year. Co-written with Aaron Rothe, Ben Lohle, and Taylor Macres, the song is Gray’s tip of the hat to the people in her life who, quite simply, make her a better person.
“I wanted to appreciate the way other people have really helped and supported me and each other through this difficult time,” she explains. “I think with everything that’s going on, it’s really important to add bits of positivity in your life.
“I really want people to just take a moment to appropriate the people who push them to be better people. I have always found that for me, those people help me reflect on myself and find what I can improve. I just think that’s a really important thing to do in life.”
It’s not hard to hear Gray’s musical heroes influence on her music. Artists like the aforementioned Lorde or Charlotte Lawrence are two primary examples Gray points to as artists she feels have helped shape her music.
“I think that their dark pop sound has really influenced my music as well as the thoughtfulness in their lyrics.”
While “Better With You” is Gray’s latest release, it is not her first. Along with a decade of playing and writing, Gray has been releasing songs for three years now, most notably 2019’s “Twisted.” As she has grown over the years, so has her songwriting to the point where she straddles that line of pulling stories from her own life and infusing them with the kind of imagination found in the most talented storytellers.
“I write best when I have a particular moment or feeling to base my songs off of. That has always helped me find direction and inspiration. (For this song), I really love the lyrics in the verses. They were something I was very proud of so, I really hope listeners can connect and share the emotions those lyrics hold.”